Last November, workers at Cristal USA Inc. in Ashtabula, Ohio, voted by an overwhelming margin to join the UFCW’s International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC). The workers at Cristal USA Inc. manufacture titanium dioxide products. On Jan. 11, warehouse workers at the same facility also voted to join the ICWUC.
Cristal organizing committee member Jon Decker said, “In 2008, we tried to organize through a different, much smaller union, and were unsuccessful. The company had swayed the vote in their favor by making many promises and commitments for improving our wages, benefits and working conditions. For the last eight years, I’ve watched as these promises to the workforce have been broken, and the commitments forgotten. When we decided early in 2016 that our efforts to improve working conditions with the company on our own were failing, we decided to check out the ICWUC. This has been a breath of fresh air for us. The level of organization, commitment and alignment that we’ve received from the ICWUC is on an entirely different level than what we had experienced in 2008. I have no doubt that this played a huge part in our landslide victory at the voting table this time around.”
“Cristal USA was a great organizing win for the workers involved,” said ICWUC President Frank Cyphers. “There is still a section of Cristal that we are organizing and we won’t go away until Cristal is completely organized. This is the fourth organizing win in the Ashtabula, Ohio, area in the last three months. And we have now begun a fifth campaign at another employer in a neighboring city, so we are very proud of the work that ICWUC Organizer Lance Heasley has done in this area. The ICWUC is very proud of our entire organizing department led by George Ortiz, and we will continue to organize in Ashtabula and anywhere else in the country we are needed so that workers like those at Cristal and Gabriel continue to enjoy the security and benefits that belonging to the ICWUC/UFCW bring to them and their families.”